We get back from our long drive and the weather had turned cold. Well California cold. But you definitely need the heat on.
When we left I decided against reprogramming the thermostat for lower temperatures and just turned it off. I had a vague recollection of that having been a bad idea previously, but I just really wanted to get out of dodge. Big mistake.
The house was freezing when we got back, so I just casually flipped the ‘on’ switch on the thermostat. Easy right? No fucking way. The heat came on for a half hour and then crapped out. There followed a period of three hours when I was either out in the driveway messing with the fuses, down in the cellar banging on the furnace, or in the house trying to keep the kids from going all popsicle on me.
Did I mention we were all a little cranky from our drive?
I kid you not, the furnace has a little machine-to-human translation device. Beep once for “I’m sad, no heat for you”. There’s a red light, an orange light, and a green light. First count the number of orange flashes, then count the green ones, then look that up on the chart printed in miniscule type inside the furnace cover.
Did I mention I hate gas-powered appliances? You know, the whole blowing-up thing freaks me out.
So I finally decode this message from the machine and it says “Heat is hard. I will try again in three hours.” Fuck that shorty.
So I pulled a Hal on it and cut the power. Once I felt it had suffered enough, I restored power, flipped its switches (oooh baby), and swore like a fucking sailor at it. In the middle of my diatribe (example: “My fucking children are fucking cold you piece of shit metal box. If you don’t start making with the heat I’m going to get the goddamned hatchet!”) it fearfully came to life.
That machine is my bitch.